Chris Brown’s lost weekend improved little, if at all, after his positive test for COVID-19 before his scheduled fight Friday on an LFA card in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Brown was asymptomatic – “not even a stuffy nose, nothing,” he posted on Instagram – but was pulled from the card, then was provided a rental car by the LFA for his trip back to Albuquerque.
En route, the Jackson-Wink fighter hit a deer and wound up stranded in Alma, Nebraska. Though he was uninjured, Brown said, the rental car could go no further.
Brown’s nickname is “Breezy,” but his MMA career has been anything but a breeze. His 5-2 record is strewn with canceled fights and includes a pair of losses to more experience fighters – setting back his goal of joining some of his Jackson-Wink teammates at the sport’s highest levels.
“That’s what it is, the story of Breezy,” he said on Instagram. “Something’s always crazy going on with me. It never ends.
“But you know, I’m healthy, I’m safe, and I feel great. So just a minor setback for a major comeback. I’ll come back even stronger.”
Saturday night, Brown told the Journal via test that he’d arrived safely in Albuquerque.
NM IN THE CAGE: Albuquerque bantamweight Ray Borg is the latest New Mexican to get a pandemic-era MMA fight.
Borg (13-5) is matched against UFC newcomer Nathan Maness (11-1) on an Aug. 1 UFC card at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Apparently, Borg is not impressed by Maness’ glossy record – or by the quality of the Kentucky fighter’s previous opposition.
“August 1st we are going to show that there are levels to this (sport),” Borg posted on Instagram.
Borg is joining Holly Holm, his former teammate at Jackson-Wink, on the Aug. 1 card. Holm (13-5) is matched against Mexico’s Irene Aldana in the night’s main event.
Borg now trains at Jackson’s Acoma, which is not affiliated with Jackson-Wink.
In addition, thus far in the summer and beyond, the New Mexico MMA lineup is the following:
⋄ Friday: Greg Fischer (10-1), a Maryland bantamweight who trains part-time at Jackson-Wink, vs. Jimmy Flick (13-5) on an LFA card in Sioux Falls.
⋄ Saturday: California featherweight Aaron Pico (5-3), who trains at Jackson-Wink, vs. Solo Hatley Jr. (8-2) on a Bellator card at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
⋄ Aug. 4: Santa Fe flyweight Jerome Rivera (9-2) vs. Mexico’s Luis Rodriguez (11-1) on Dana White’s Tuesday Contender Series in Las Vegas.
⋄ Aug. 8: Moriarty welterweight Tim Means (29-12-1) vs. Argentina’s Laureano Staropoli (9-2) on a UFC card in Las Vegas. Also, Rio Rancho featherweight Steve Garcia (11-4) vs. Peter Barrett (11-3) of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
⋄ Aug. 15: Albuquerque bantamweight John Dodson (21-11) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (11-4) of Tbilisi, Georgia on a UFC card in Las Vegas.
⋄ Sept. 5: Former Albuquerquean Nicco Montaño (4-3) in a bantamweight fight against Oklahoma City’s Julia Avila (8-1).
This fight was originally scheduled for Aug. 8 but was postponed because Montaño’s coach tested positive for COVID-19 before an LFA card on July 10.
Did we miss anyone? Probably.
Is there more to come? Almost certainly.
ADD BORG: The fight against Maness will be Borg’s third of 2020.
On Feb. 15, Borg defeated Brazil’s Rogerio Bonterin by unanimous decision on a UFC Fight Night card at the Santa Ana Star Center.
On May 13, on the second UFC card to be staged after the onset of the pandemic, he lost by split decision to Seattle’s Ricky Simon in Jacksonville, Florida.
Borg was scheduled to face Dvalishvili, who now is scheduled to face Dodson, in Las Vegas on June 13. But Borg withdrew because of a family issue – a health scare involving his son, Anthony, who was born with hydrocephalus.
Borg, after returning home in June, said Anthony was OK.